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Ask BENlabs | How Does a Car End Up in a Movie or TV Show?

Have you ever wondered how does a car ended up in a movie or TV show? If you haven’t, that’s actually a good sign.

Well-integrated automotive placement is like good sound design (or editing, coloring, sometimes even camera, directing, and acting): It contributes to the story, provides a world of context, and may even affect how you subconsciously feel about a character and the world they inhabit.

But if it doesn’t sound right, it can throw you off and pull you out of the world of the story. If you’re thinking about the sound design, you aren’t thinking about the story.

So it is with automotive placement.

how does a car end up in a movie or tv show? photo of Reese Witherspoon in front of a Buick in Big Little Lies.

Well-Integrated Auto Placements

In an ideal situation, the fact that a character drives a particular car feels so organic to the story, that it doesn’t even cross your mind. The character’s moving along through the story, gets in and out of their car, and continues on. It makes sense that this character has a car and this particular make and model provides context about the character that makes sense.

It likely affects how you think and feel about that character, which affects how you think and feel about that particular car, but you integrate that information and move on with the story.

Prepping a shot of a vehicle or a movie

Now, a lot goes into making these well-integrated placements happen (cars are pretty hefty props). It requires expertise in both auto and entertainment industries, something the BENlabs automotive team has in spades. But ultimately, the goal is that all of that work fades into the background of the story.

How Does a Car End Up in a Movie or TV Show? Ask BENlabs: Video Transcript

People might see a car in a movie or a television show and wonder how it got there. At BENLabs, it’s the result of the work of a fantastic team, a team that really is greater than the sum of its parts.  

We have folks with extensive production experience. We have folks with extensive automotive experience. And together we can effectively make that translation between the automotive and the entertainment space. 

And truly everything we do is very story driven. We want any time a vehicle shows up on screen for that to be very organic and natural, so the viewer isn’t jarred and really enjoys the experience of seeing that piece of content.  

So, everything we do is very, very story driven. And then also we maintain a fleet, we physically maintain vehicles, we loan them out to productions. We are interacting with productions in that way to make it as easy as possible for them to tell the story that they want to tell. 

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